After making waves in Greta Gerwig’s adaptation of Little Women last year, Saoirse Ronan is back with more period drama in Ammonite, and Kate Winslet is coming with her.
Intended as one of the official selections for both the 2020 Cannes Film Festival and 2020 Telluride Film Festival, Ammonite is now slated to premiere at the 2020 Toronto International Film Festival. That means the movie is a likely contender for the upcoming awards season, which is bound to be a weird one thanks to all the movies that have been delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic. But at least we still have some traditional awards fare like Ammonite on our plate, and the first trailer has just arrived, giving us some of the same vibes that Portrait of a Lady on Fire delivered not too long ago.
Kate Winslet leads the film as British paleontologist Mary Anning, who befriends a London woman (Saorise Ronan) and unexpectedly becomes her nursemaid. Though the two find themselves at odds initially, they suddenly strike up a passionate love affair that threatens to upend both their lives. Funnily enough, NEON is releasing this movie, the same studio behind Portrait of a Lady on Fire.
Director Francis Lee is behind the camera, and back in June, he told Entertainment Weekly what drew him to the project:
“I was very drawn to that period because of this wonderful research into same-sex female relationships of the period that are all very well documented with letters to each other, demonstrating wonderful, life-long, passionate, intense, emotional relationships. And I was fascinated to set this film in a period that was totally patriarchal and where women were completely owned by their fathers or their husbands, and looking at how they live within that world, and also in a world where, at that time, the medical profession believed that women had no sexual-pleasure organs. So, the idea of two women actually in a relationship together was just not a thought anybody ever had within society.”
Ammonite also stars Fiona Shaw, James McArdle, Gemma Jones, and Alec Secareanu.
We’ll have a review of Ammonite when it premieres at the Toronto International Film Festival next month. The festival is having some theatrical screenings, but there are also virtual screenings for press that we’ll be taking advantage of, so stay tuned for plenty of TIFF coverage throughout September. In the meantime, here’s the official synopsis for the movie, which is currently slated to hit select theaters on November 13, 2020.
In the 1840s, acclaimed self-taught paleontologist Mary Anning works alone on the wild and brutal Southern English coastline of Lyme Regis. The days of her famed discoveries behind her, she now hunts for common fossils to sell to rich tourists to support herself and her ailing widowed mother. When one such tourist, Roderick Murchison, arrives in Lyme on the first leg of a European tour, he entrusts Mary with the care of his young wife Charlotte, who is recuperating from a personal tragedy. Mary, whose life is a daily struggle on the poverty line, cannot afford to turn him down but, proud and relentlessly passionate about her work, she clashes with her unwanted guest. They are two women from utterly different worlds. Yet despite the chasm between their social spheres and personalities, Mary and Charlotte discover they can each offer what the other has been searching for: the realization that they are not alone. It is the beginning of a passionate and all-consuming love affair that will defy all social bounds and alter the course of both lives irrevocably.
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